Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Wednesday with representatives of Pacific Islands nations, for talks focused on pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation.
“I want to work hand-in-hand with you in the fields of development, climate change and U.N. Security Council reform,” Abe told the group of leaders, foreign ministers and other officials from the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting bloc.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi indicated the Pacific island nations share Japan’s regional security and environmental concerns.
“We will continue to support each other on the international front to ensure that we adhere to the principles of international law and that we continue to maintain peace, security and prosperity in our region, as well as guarantee robust stewardship and management of the oceans we share,” Tuilaepa said.
And Lorin Robert, foreign affairs secretary of the Federated States of Micronesia, spoke of the need for multilateral dialogue.
In a portion of the meeting open to the media, Abe asked the island nations to work with Japan toward the success of the eighth PALM summit, or PALM8, to be held in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in May next year.
PALM consists of Japan, the United States and 15 Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand. The group that Abe met Wednesday included a delegate from each of the 15 nations and a representative of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Members of the delegation attended an interim ministerial meeting in Tokyo the previous day as part of the preparations for PALM8, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.